Saturday, July 18, 2015

Tad is 4!

A couple of weeks ago, Tad turned 4. Can you believe it? He's such a big boy and so sweet. (And when he says, "I love you, Grandma", my heart just melts:) He had a pirate themed party with family and friends. Andrew did some great cooking, and Alison made a ship cake, treats and decorated the house. She is so creative! Everything was so cute.

We knew Tad really didn't need anymore toys, so Rick made him a picnic table just his size. He had made one when Andrew and his brothers were little and we got a lot of use out of it. I'm sure Tad and the twins will too. (I want Rick to make another one for our yard. The old one is long gone:)

The twins will be celebrating their 1st birthday next month. I can't wait to see what kind of party Alison comes up with for them!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Back Porch Redo

Back in June of 2011 I did a post about our screened-in back porch. It has basically been the same since we added it on to the house in 1997.

We liked it, except for that tile which has driven me crazy since day one. We chose unglazed tile because it looked so good in the store, but in reality it was not a good choice for a floor exposed to the elements. It stained easily and every year we had to strip and retreat it. Arrrr... I was done!

So we chose a pretty ceramic tile in a mottled cream. Rick did the install.(We thought about having it done, but do you know how hard it is to get a good installer? I've got one right here:) Anyway, after he put it in we just had to continue with a redecoration. And this is how it turned out:

After A LOT of painting we love how it turned out! It is brighter and cleaner looking. I still have those old cushions,but I plan on replacing those next year when there are more choices in the stores. Though I might look online to get something more to my liking.

In other news, my hubby is recuperating from skin cancer surgery. The surgeon took out an extra big chunk to get it all, so it's more than a little painful. But I think he is feeling better because he is getting restless and ready to get back to work. Good news, I'd say!

Monday, July 6, 2015

The Garden This Week

I usually say that June is the best month for our gardens. But this year it looks like July will be. We had a very wet and mostly cool June and some flowers held off blooming. But, oh my, the yard is bright with monarda, lilies, roses, coneflower and many others. Here are a few examples:

A different view of the garden border looking toward the house.

The west side of the shed, in shade, but full of color.
I have no idea what this lily's name is, but the yellow flower in there is basket flower, a perennial variety of centaurea (bachelor button.)

Tiger Lily

Sitting area near the pond.

Part of the herb garden. Gotta love larkspur and calendula for easy color!

The newest bed in the side yard. I think I will move those monarda -  too tall for this spot.

Even though we have many garden beds, and can be a lot of work in the spring, right now it's not too bad. I try to get to the weeds early in the season, so that by midsummer I just have to go through each bed every other week or so. And I usually like to do the weeding. It can be relaxing. Though I have to say that the mosquitoes are driving us crazy right now, so doing anything in the yard takes preparation (bug spray, long sleeves, etc.) Yuck! Not so relaxing:)

I hope everyone had a great 4th! We had a wonderful party with friends and family. Lots of swimming, eating, and laughing. But I just wasn't taking pictures. Too busy having a good time, I guess!

Monday, June 29, 2015

No So Lazy Summer

Well, this has not been a lazy summer, at least not yet. I keep coming up with projects for the house and yard. And I can't just do them myself. I say, "I've got an idea." And my husband says, "What now." But really, he is usually happy to indulge me and comes up with pretty good ideas of his own. I will be sharing the two big projects soon.

This has been my evening work for many weeks now. The plates are made from scraps and I love how it turned out. Though it will be quite awhile before I'm done quilting it.

Up until a few days ago, doing any kind of needlework was difficult with our foster kitty, Bolt, around. He would jump, bat, bite, etc. any time I moved my hand. Thankfully he is settling down a little. And we have gotten very creative finding things around the house for him to play with besides my thread and yarn. His favorite is a thread spool. I wonder why?

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Busy Spring = Lazy Summer

HI! Sorry I've been absent, but May was a very busy month for us and I'm just now catching my breath. We had two anniversaries (ours - 34 years! and our son and daughter-in law -8 years), our son Andrew's 31st birthday, and  Mother's Day. We also hosted a moving-away dinner for an old friend of ours.

Of course, the gardens took a lot of time to get cleaned up and planted. I can't even count the number of times I went to various garden centers. I also started quite a few plants and had them in the greenhouse getting big and healthy. Everything is in the ground now and I will spend the rest of the summer maintaining, weeding, and harvesting fruits and veggies.

We had a really good time when our oldest son, Justin, visited for 10 days. We had several family dinners, went out to eat, and spent a day at a state park.

Tad loves being with his Uncle Justin!

Then, after Justin left, school wrapped up. I was so ready, but it was very emotional because I won't be going back to that school. The little girl I was with for 2 years is going to another school next year and I have no idea if I will be with her again. I will really miss her! She was such an affectionate thing and we got close. She was starting to talk, and read, and become much more independent. (Gotta stop, I'm tearing up:(

But I have my sweet grandsons. Jasper, the dark one, is starting to crawl, and Klaus is close behind. Tad's 4th birthday is this month. I'm getting together with my niece to go shopping at a scrapbook store in Illinois. And there is the quilting, knitting and misc. crafting. More than enough to keep me occupied!

Oh, I almost forgot. We also have this little guy to take care -

Justin went to a dinner party hosted by friends from high school and they had several kittens needing homes. He called and asked if we would take care of one until he moved in August. Of course I said yes. We love cats! But we haven't had a kitten in many years and he's so rambunctious! And I've got the scratches to prove it:) But Von Humboldt is growing on us. Yes, that's his name!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Embroidered Churn Dash

Another quilt done! This has just come out of the dryer and is so soft and cozy.  It's a little puffy do to my hand quilting without a hoop or frame, but I'm happy with it overall. I really enjoyed picking out the fabrics and floss colors, and doing the embroidery. I've got another quilt that I'm anxious to start quilting, but I'm determined to finish some PhDs (projects half done.) As usual, there is not enough time!

The weather this week has been cool (with frosts) and today was rainy. It's driving me crazy! I need some warm, sunny days to work in the gardens.  There is a lot to do and I'm itching to start planting. I find it very hard to go to work on nice days now. Do any of you feel like that too? (I saw on the Weather Channel that next week is going to be nice. Maybe I'll get sick:)

We went to a new antique store (the prices were really good!) and bought a couple of things to use in the yard. One is an old hand pump that Rick is going to make into a water fountain. I'll share pictures soon.

Thanks for visiting me and have a great Sunday!  

Monday, April 13, 2015

Spring Getaway

After reading about Eureka Springs, AR in the March issue of Victoria magazine, we decided that a road trip was in order. I made reservations at one of about a million B&Bs there and then realized it was the one featured in the magazine! It was so romantic and cozy. I didn't get a good photo of it, but you can get a little idea of the outside here:

 the breakfast room:

and our room:

There was a fireplace, jacuzzi, and fresh flowers and chocolates every day. We felt so pampered!

It was our first time in Eureka Springs. The town was settled in the late 1800's for the mineral springs and so there are beautiful old Victorian homes and hotels. The downtown is in a valley and the homes climb up the hillsides. Some are perched on rocky walls. There was a huge rainstorm while we were there and we were afraid we would wash away! (As it turned out, the Main Street did flood and had to be closed off. Glad we didn't go out that night:)

There were many things to do and the weather was warm and sunny. We went to a Big Cat rescue facility:

A funky house built of rocks from the area, Quigley's Castle:

The woman who built this house had an obsession with rocks and nature. All the garden ornaments and buildings were covered in rocks, minerals, fossils and shells. Very interesting!

We also visited Thorncrown Chapel:

hiked in the woods:

and of course, explored the shops, restaurants, the springs, and old houses.

This goes down to one of the springs. Rick said it looks like the stairway to hell!

We were so glad went took the time to explore another part of the country. It was a beautiful area and we met some interesting and friendly people.